An analysis of the values and principles guiding the further education and training curriculum policy.
Ngelale, Roselyn Lebari.
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The education reform of the South African democratically elected government ushered in the further education and training (FET) curriculum policy guided by strategic principles and values. This study identified and analysed the principles and values guiding the FET curriculum policy in relation to the factors leading to their selection and the effect of such choices on the FET curriculum design. A tri-dimensional method of Critical Discourse Analysis as developed by Fairclough (1995) was employed and supplemented with a method of curriculum analysis as developed by Jansen and Reddy (1994) for the analysis of the principles and values. Investigation into the National Curriculum Statement for FET (General) (2003) revealed that the principles and values fall into two categories: Economic based and social-related principles, both aiming to achieve social transformation. This dissertation positions education and training curriculum design within an emancipatory praxis approach as developed by Grundy (1987), and argued that since the gain in learning principles and values is that which leads to the development and refinement of the individual, the social-related principles and values should be taught holistically as a subject. I contend that the ‘discrete’ integration and application of socialrelated principles and values in subject statements will not provide an effective way of assessing the competences of such learning. This is because ‘discrete’ means subtle and subtle is elusive – ungraspable. I therefore argue that if the leaders of tomorrow who are the learners of today are expected to project and defend the principles values that the South African society is built on, it is imperative that these learners learn them holistically. Finally, an individual is assessed by what he /she thinks says, and does and the hands are one of the vehicles that carries out the command of the head, if the hands fail to respond to the ‘will’ of the head, that ‘will’ becomes of no effect. In the light of this argument, I contend that practical work without cognitive knowledge is no knowledge just as cognitive knowledge without practical application is absolutely no knowledge.